Gianofer Fields

Material Culturalist

Gianofer Fields is a freelance producer and reporter for NPR, BBC and Madison's WORT Community Radio. She says, “Once you seriously consider the objects you use to fill your emotional and functional needs, you will never see those things the same way ever again. From delightfully intriguing to dangerously obsessive, objects affect our daily lives. They creep into our subconscious. They say volumes about who we are or wish to be, without uttering a single word.”

Cedric Johnson

The Latin phrase Vestis Virum Reddit translates to: "clothes make the man." However, for Madison resident Cedric Johnson there also needs to be an equivalent phrase for kids, because he's been dapper all of his life. As the first born son and only grandchild until the age of five, Johnson was dressed to impress. Johnson says it was those formative years that set his sense of style into motion.

Chazen Museum of Art

Drew Stevens is the Distinguished Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Chazen Museum in Madison. While curating has been his thing for 30 years, Stevens says the distinguished bit came after his hair changed color.

Image courtesy of Gianofer Fields

Gloriann Langva is a second year grad student studying Ceramics at UW Madison. Her narrative work reflects her desire to create sculptures that tell a story. This semester she decided to take class​ in Material Culture that focused on Victorian Ceramics. The class project was to curate a show entitled, “What's in a Jug.”

In this edition of Radio Chipstone contributor Gianofer Fields met Langva in the Object Study Room at the Chazen Museum. It's where the jugs live and it's also the place Langva studies works of the past for inspiration:

Chazen Museum of Art, from the Kaplan & Levi Collection

This is the last weekend to see Continent for an Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art at the UW-Madison Chazen Museum. Amy Gilman is the Director of the Museum and says the collection spans the Australian continent and its many peoples. The works invite the viewer to reconsider the lenses through which we view the world around us and shift our collective perspective.

Courtesy of Gianofer Fields

In the the early 1840s Wisconsin had a high enough population to meet the criteria for becoming a state. There was a diverse group of people living here, including native peoples, north easterners, and people from the upper south, many of whom originally came to the area during the lead rush in the 1820s. 

adam121 / Fotolia

If there is anything you should know about contributor Gianofer Fields, it's that she doesn't drink coffee to wake up - she wakes up to drink coffee. Next to exploring the avenues of Material Culture, it's her favorite thing.

beautifulcataya / Flickr

There are Native American burial mounds across the United States, but the kind found in Wisconsin and nearby areas of Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota are distinct to this region. The three- to four-foot-high earthen effigy mounds depict panthers, deer, bears, raptors, and other animals.

Chipstone Foundation

When was the last time you picked up an object and wondered about the person who made it? What do they look like? Where are they from? These questions become even more important when the legacy of artist or craftsperson is lost to history, or was never recorded in the first place.

UW-Madison School of Human Ecology

If you look to your left as you walk into the School of Human Ecology on the UW Madison campus, you will see something wondrous in the Design Gallery window. The exhibit is called "Whirling Return of the Ancestors: Egúngún Arts of the Yorùbá in Africa and Beyond." The garment in the window is worn in what's called a Masquerade.

Madison Public Library

Built in 1965, Madison's Central Library couldn't imagine the challenges of the digital world. So, in 2012 it shut down for two years and re-emerged as something that looks like a cross between a museum, student lounge, and a coffee house - designed to anticipate change and the needs of the community.

Gianofer Fields

It was a Marimekko quilt that first sparked print artist Lesley Numbers' interest in silk screening, but it's vintage everyday objects that populate her work. Her most successful print features the iconic hair and red lips of Dolly Parton and encourages you to "pour yourself a cup of ambition." Parton's likeness is framed by vintage coffee pots, cups, mugs and carafes.

Gianofer Fields

Should you find yourself strolling along the Capitol Square in Madison, you may notice something shiny on North Carroll Street. It's not space ships catching your eye, rather, it’s a series of aluminum Christmas Trees lighting up the night. The trees were produced from the 1960's until the late ‘70s by the Aluminum Speciality Company in Manitowoc.

Gianofer Fields

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday...those who celebrate Christmas/the Holidays are spending large sums of money trying to find the perfect gift. Parents are wrestling with the question of which toy, video, game, song are they willing to listen to, play or step on for the foreseeable future.

In this edition of Radio Chipstone, contributor Gianofer Fields chats with friend and colleague Matt McHugh about what was once something, he cherished: a Red Power Ranger toy he got from his parents when he was eight or nine years-old.

Chazen Museum of Art

Back in September, Dr. Amy Gilman said goodbye to the Toledo Museum of Art and hello to her new position as the Director of the Chazen Museum in Madison. While taking on the direction of a major museum is can be daunting, you would never know it by Gilman’s attitude. In fact, she says that it's everything you want a new challenge to be.

In this edition of Radio Chipstone, contributor Gianofer Fields meets Dr. Gilman in a place she finds both inspiration and comfort:

Overture Center for the Arts

2017 marks the centennial of Wisconsin’s State Capitol. But rather than focusing on the building, Madison Artists Brenda Baler and Bird Ross chose instead to focus on a statue that has been greeting and encouraging the women of Madison since late 1895. Funded by women across the state, the statue, called Forward, was sculpted by Jean Pond Minor and holds court at the Capitol’s east entrance.